Mair y Mynydd

(a Welsh mood from the early 1900s)

Mair y mynydd - Mary of the mountain -

on your way to milk the cows before the sun goes down,

time stops still down the linnet-lisping lanes as you

walk along dreaming in rain-washed Wales.

You wait between showers, thinking of your wedding day,

thinking of the young in old Cwmscwt1.

Will it be Evan shop or Ivor thatcher?

Will it be Dai bach2 or Twm from Maddoc's barn?

Will it be Idris preach or Ianto undertaker?

Or do you ever think of me - Red Rhys from Abercan?

Your face is bright with rain wisps as you

pause beneath the dripping elderberry tree.

A Bowen to the bone you are, walking on and wishing and

listening in the dingle3 where the cuckoo calls alone.

Mair y mynydd, with all this lovely hungering

of long-ago meadows and song-drenched vales - is the wedding day a dream to fill your eyes with distances

or are you still doting on Cwmscwt's sons?

Memories and promises float like moths about you:

Is it something new, then, in Idris, Dai, or Twm? -

something no one counted on in Evan, Ivor, Ianto?

Or do you ever think of me - Red Rhys from Abercan?

A woman's strength is shimmering in her silences,

in thoughts that wander down a lingering sky ...

But what would you want with a shy poet's words where

honoring is webbed with incongruities? -

What would you want with the ways of Rhys when

the cows are waiting in the falling light?

Questions brim on Cymru's4 hill tops

and valleys go on whispering their old wives' tales.

Mair y mynydd, who is it in your eyes, fach5?

The sun bleeds slowly over all of Wales....

1 a fictitious Welsh village

2 little one

3 shallow dell

4 Wales

5 loved one

Today is Saint David's day in Wales. Patriotic Welshmen and women wear wild leeks - the national emblem of Wales - in their buttonholes to remember their hero, the Welsh patron saint known as ``Dewi Sant.'' Godfrey John is a Welsh expatriate who lives in Canada.

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